We all love a city break. A few days away from the rat race to explore a new part of the world and after the year that was 2020 the thought of travel and seeing new sights seems more appealing than ever – hopefully it’s not too distant a prospect!
I’m sure Paris, London and New York are at the top of most people’s lists but Germany has some of the most fabulous, cosmopolitan and hip cities in Europe. At the start of last year, before Covid halted everything in its tracks, I was able to escape on a short trip away to Munich for a few days to enjoy the delights of this German city.
After a short two and half hour flight from Dublin to Munich, We started our adventure by making our way to Munich’s 25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian. The hotel is right in the heart of the city at Bahnhofplatz, just a stone’s throw away from Munich Central Station. The building itself has had a varied history, it has served as a postal service building and as a royal telegraph station. From the outside, it looks like a chic yet unassuming building but on the inside, let me tell you, it’s like a wonderland. All of the hotels in the 25hour family have their own signature look to them and the decor at the Munich property is especially striking. They have rich patterned wallpaper, carpets and drapings to create a space that made me think of a lavish Victorian boudoir. The old-world opulence is offset by quirky trimmings such a bicycle adorning the wall next to painted portraits of surly-looking men in military uniform. This quirkiness is consistent throughout the hotel with typewriters and bicycles a common ornamental theme.
After we checked-in, I was eager to explore the rest of the hotel to see if the eccentric decor continues throughout. Unsurprisingly it did, although the rooms are decidedly more industrial looking than the hotel’s plush public spaces. Our room looked like it could be the set of a pop music video. The colours are so vibrant and the design flourishes are charmingly quirky but very tastefully executed. I’ve never seen such a unique guest room. Not only was the room fabulously designed it was also extremely comfortable and the rainfall shower was simply divine. The rooms on offer at The Royal Bavarian come in various sizes to suit your travel needs small (18sqm), medium (1 sqm) large (20-24sqm), extra-large (30sqm) and two suits, The Swan (46sqm) and The Peacock (73sqm).
With your room, you are given access to the hotel’s fleet of Schindelhauer bikes. Staff at the hotel insisted that the best way to see Munich is by bike and not only will this range of bikes zip you around from A to B, they’re pretty stylish too! If cycling is not your thing or if you want to explore a little further afield then you also have the option to borrow one of the hotels Minis – yes, you can take a spin in a Mini for no extra charge if you fancy it! And that’s exactly what we did. I love Minis. I drive one myself at home and it was such a fun treat to get to cruise around Munich in one. It’s a great feeling to have that independence of a car when you are visiting a different city.
“From the outside, it looks like a chic yet unassuming building but on the inside, let me tell you, it’s like a wonderland.”
If you are a fan of retail therapy, like myself, then you’ll love Munich. It’s a great spot for shopping. The city really has something for everyone. If you’re looking for some upmarket elegance then the Fünf Höfe shopping mall or the shops of Maximilianstraße both feature exclusive luxury brands. If you’re after a unique find and something a little different then the trendy district of Gärtnerplatz would be worth a visit. Young designers tend to come here with their pieces so you’re bound to find something special. There’s also an abundance of shopping centres and outdoor shopping areas around the city that you can explore. Just be aware that most shops close on Sundays.
Shopping certainly works up an appetite and the culinary delights on offer at The Royal Bavarian are to die for. The onsite restaurant NENI offers a warm ambience that feels like eating at a pal’s house rather than a stuffy restaurant. This is surely down to the fact that the owner, Haya Molchos created the restaurant with family and sharing in mind. NENI is an anagram of her son’s initials all of whom have a hand in crafting the unique menu. The food is superb. The menu can only be described as the ultimate in fusion cuisine. Primarily the dishes are very much Israeli with Spanish and Romanian influences – to reflect the Molchos family’s diverse background – but with dishes such Korean fried chicken salad, spicy pumpkin and orange and ginger soup you can expect to experience flavours from around the globe at NENI.
If you’re not in the mood for a full sit down meal then NENI also has a deli onsite at the hotel. There you can grab a quick drink, speciality coffee or one of the yummy hot and cold snacks and cakes they have on offer.
The Boilerman Bar at The Royal Bavarian is the perfect spot for a nightcap at the end of the evening. We relaxed in the laid back atmosphere of the bar while the team of expert mixologists whipped us up some delightful concoctions. They specialise in highball cocktails, – from a simple Bourbon Highball to more complex and unique creations such as the Parma Negroni Highball – all of which are delicious.
If you are in need of a bit of rest and relaxation during your stay then you will definitely want to check out the hotel’s sauna. It’s a classic pinewood panelled sauna with a wonderful twist, it has a quaint little terrace overlooking the hotel’s atrium. How often do you get a sauna with a view?
I think it goes without saying at this point that my stay at the The Royal Bavarian in Munich was very special. It was a fantastic mix of luxury and quirkiness that I’ve never experienced before. And the city of Munich is simply delightful. I could easily spend a few weeks exploring the streets and landmarks of the neighbourhoods there and never get bored. I think I’ll have to come back again sometime soon and stay a bit longer.